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PICTURES: New Forest Boxing Day point-to-point 2021



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HUNDREDS of spectators braved the wind and rain to roar home riders and their horses at the popular point-to-point races.

Held the day after Boxing Day this year, the annual event marks the end of the commoning year and saw riders of all ages take part.

A celebration of New Forest traditions and organised by the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, the finish of this year’s event was in the vicinity of Markway, near Burley.

From left: Libby House on Vicar's Temolo and Beth Richmond on Rowdown Runner (picture: Les Chase)
From left: Libby House on Vicar's Temolo and Beth Richmond on Rowdown Runner (picture: Les Chase)
From left: Kate Macey on Staghill Polar Flight, Bob Mansbridge on Deepmoor Golden Virginia and Helen Howells on Ramnor Charlie's Angel (picture: Les Chase)
From left: Kate Macey on Staghill Polar Flight, Bob Mansbridge on Deepmoor Golden Virginia and Helen Howells on Ramnor Charlie's Angel (picture: Les Chase)

"It was an ideal spot to have it this year as the horses can get up to a good gallop" one event goer told the A&T.

"There were easily 500 to 600 people there and most people parked at Wilverley and just walked across," she added. "It was a cracking event, despite it being wet and windy; Everybody was in good spirits and really enjoyed it, especially since we missed out on it last year [due to Covid-19]."

Donna Savery on Crabbswood Cyclone (picture: Les Chase)
Donna Savery on Crabbswood Cyclone (picture: Les Chase)
Race 2 winner Erika Dovey on Warren Trail Layer (picture: Les Chase)
Race 2 winner Erika Dovey on Warren Trail Layer (picture: Les Chase)

The races are a major highlight in the commoning calendar and involve racers navigating across open country, with the starting point kept secret until close to setting off.

This year there were seven point-to-point races over 11 categories, including veterans’ and children’s contests.

Race 7 winner Anita Smith on Janesmoor Jasper Conran (picture: Les Chase)
Race 7 winner Anita Smith on Janesmoor Jasper Conran (picture: Les Chase)
The crowds braved the weather (picture: Les Chase)
The crowds braved the weather (picture: Les Chase)

Bob Mansbridge, riding his Deepmoor Golden Virginia pony took the George Rockley Cup in taking the win in the first Veterans race, while the second contest – for the Tanner Cup – was won by Katie Macey on her Staghill Polar Flight.

The children’s race for entrants aged 10-13 on pure breed New Forest ponies, saw the Pulteney Cup claimed by Sonny Lovell – aboard Erika Dovey’s Warren Trail Layer.

Race 5 Erika Dovey on Nutschullyng Bewitched (picture: Les Chase)
Race 5 Erika Dovey on Nutschullyng Bewitched (picture: Les Chase)
Heading for the finish in Race 6 (picture: Les Chase)
Heading for the finish in Race 6 (picture: Les Chase)

The Beaulieu Road Cup for children aged 14-16 was claimed by Rown Cranton, who was riding Oakwood Jester.

Meanwhile, the Slipper Cup went to the winning young commoner on a pure breed New Forest pony, who was Amelia Mae-Long, while Erika Dovey won the Cree Cup by finishing first in the Ladies on Ponies, n/e 15.2 hands race.

Race 2 winner Sonny Lovell collects his trophy (picture: Les Chase)
Race 2 winner Sonny Lovell collects his trophy (picture: Les Chase)
There were reduced crowds this year (picture: Les Chase)
There were reduced crowds this year (picture: Les Chase)

Colin Moore got his hands on the Colthunters cup by being first to the finish in the Open Ponies n/e 15.2 hands contest, and Mark Adams won the heavyweight race in being the sole participant.

Among the more keenly contested jousts was the Novice Pure Breed race, which had the most runners and eventually saw two riders come home as joint winners of the Eileen Lockyer Cup – Steph Davies and Lauren Hawkes.

Race 5A winner Erika Dovey collects her trophy (picture: Les Chase)
Race 5A winner Erika Dovey collects her trophy (picture: Les Chase)

Finally, the Open Pure Breed race saw Anita Smith triumph.

As reported in the A&T, there had been fears this year’s event could have been affected by Forestry England (FE) placing restrictions on vehicle numbers as part of the event licence.

Ready for a mini finish (picture: Les Chase)
Ready for a mini finish (picture: Les Chase)

It imposed a maximum number of 250 vehicles at the finish – with more than 160 of those spots already taken up by the two passes given to the more than 80 riders who competed – but some had expressed concerns it was "ruining an age old Forest tradition".

Ahead of the event, James Young, chair of the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society, stressed to the A&T.

"The society remains committed to working with both Natural England and FE to ensure that this traditional Forest highlight continues for the future."



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